Bitcoin continued to slide to a fresh 2018 low this morning, surpassing last week’s crash as the effect of bitcoin cash’s split weighed heavily on cryptocurrencies.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency by volume dropped to $5,173.23 by 8:30am, while ripple and ethereum also fell to yearly lows of $0.46 and $151.75 respectively.
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The move marks bitcoin’s lowest value since October last year, and is now down more than 70 per cent since the height of the cryptocurrency bubble in December 2017.
The slide began last week, as bitcoin fell below the $100bn market capitalisation for the first time since the bubble. It is largely attributed to uncertainty in the market following the so-called hard fork of bitcoin cash, which is split into two new currencies: bitcoin ABC and bitcoin SV.
Bitcoin cash itself was forked away from bitcoin in August last year, over disagreements on how to scale the digital asset.
Etoro analyst Mati Greenspan told City A.M. last week: “The bitcoin cash hard fork is turning out to be an arms race among bitcoin miners. It may not have direct impact on price, but it’s something people are concerned about — there is a fear that miners might be diverting mining power away from bitcoin into bitcoin cash.”
The cryptocurrency’s price had previously seemed to have stabilised in recent months, sitting between the $6,000 and $6,800 mark since September.
Greenspan added: “From a technical analysis standpoint, as bitcoin’s price falls below $6,000 we’re seeing liquidation: stop loss orders automatically going into effect and/or people trying to play the breakout.”